Lessons from a Pandemic: We Are Not Invincible

While it may sound obvious, we all think we are invincible at certain points. Call it youthful ignorance or burying our head in the sand or whatever excuse we may have, but we all think or act like we are invincible at some point. Frankly, it is natural to think that nothing bad could ever happen to us. Other people are mere mortals, but me, I am gonna live forever. Of course, deep down, we all know that is not true, but it is not comfortable to acknowledge that.

COVID-19 reminded us that we are mortal. That we can get sick. We can get severely sick to the point that we need someone to speak for us. And worst of all, we could die. Again, over a half million people died from this sickness that we just learned about last year. It is true that young and, presumably, healthy young people generally survive this sickness, but not everyone does. There again is that feeling that I am not going to be the one that gets sick and dies, it is going to be the other guy.

One thing that we missed out on from the pandemic is Minnesota State University, Mankato Maverick hockey. Our family is a huge supporter of the program and season ticket holders. The “other guy” syndrome that we often see is beautifully illustrated by a promotion that the program does each year. Each year they hold a cancer awareness night. As fans walk into the game, they hand out glow necklaces to everyone. You can see a picture of the arena below that holds 5,100.

Before introducing the starting lineups, all the lights are turned off and the arena is dark. The announcer comes on the loudspeaker and tells everyone to “break” the glowing part of their necklaces and hold it above their head if they have ever been afflicted with cancer. A somewhat small portion of the crowd follows the instructions and the announcer then asks anyone that has a family member that has had cancer to break their necklace and hold it above their head. A larger part of the crowd follows the instructions. Finally, the announcer instructs everyone that knows someone that has been afflicted with cancer to break their necklace and hold it above their head. Inevitably, every person in the crowd is holding a necklace above their head and the entire arena is glowing green.

So, what does this have to do with a pandemic? Well, nothing directly other than we did not have Maverick hockey this year. What it does illustrate is the life is precious. It is NOT always someone else. At some point, it is each of us or it is someone that we love. It means that planning now is important. Intentions are great, but they do not mean anything if we do not follow through and actually complete our planning.

Whether you need a simple will or you need a trust or you need a special needs trust for your children or you need a health care directive for your wishes if something happens to you, a sense of urgency is important. The last thing that any of us wants to hear in the estate planning community is that you had the best of intentions to get it done, but just did not think it could happen to you. Your loved ones will be the ones the suffer the consequences. Our goal is to take away any uncertainty of how your loved ones are taken care of or who is going to take care of them. None of us are invincible, it could be us.


Why We Do What We Do

When I was younger, I had a conversation with our pastor about all of us doing our job. He told a story from when he first started in his ministry. Like most of us just starting out, he didn’t have much money and he and his wife purchased a fixer-upper house. One cold, Minnesota winter night his furnace went out. He called one of the members of his church that was an HVAC repairman to see if he could come out the next day. The man immediately told him he’d be out and take care of the problem. When the man got to the pastor’s house, the pastor made sure to thank him and reassure him that he didn’t need to. The man’s response was that he had “a job to do and you needed me. You would do the same thing for me if I needed you” if he were in the hospital or had a family member pass away.

From that day our family has instilled that mentality. Our job at Kiecker Law is to help protect you and your family in your greatest times of need. If you or a family member passes away, we want to make sure your minor children are taken care of. If you are sick and can’t make financial or health decisions yourself, we want to make sure that the person you want is making decisions for you. If you have a child (minor or grown) that has special needs, we want to make sure they are taken care of. That’s what our job is.

Obviously, writing legal documents is part of that. Another part of that is to help educate you as to what your options are in situations or what steps you can take to help plan for an unfortunate situation. The list could go on and on with respect to education. As some of you have probably noticed, we haven’t published a blog or newsletter since November. Some of that is due to the holidays, family situations and a little thing called a pandemic, but an even larger part of that is that Kiecker Law has agreed to take on a law firm with locations in Sleepy Eye and Lake City (Pat Lowther Law). Omni and Pat have been planning a succession plan for Pat’s firm for a while, but that plan was accelerated as Pat recently decided to step aside sooner than anticipated. A much larger audience will receive this newsletter/blog than previous months and we hope that we can serve as a legal educator and trusted advisor for both Kiecker Law and Lowther Law clients.

We are currently living in a unique time. We live in a time that we can learn so many lessons. It’s safe to say that most of us have been worried, concerned, and flat our scared in the last year. Over a half-million of our fellow countrymen and women have died in a pandemic of a virus that very few of us even knew the name of 13 or 14 months ago. Aside from the political atmosphere that has developed around this medical crisis, that’s flat-out scary. For the rest of this year, we will be working through a series of newsletter articles and blog posts called Lessons From a Pandemic. Of course, being that we are a law firm, all of these articles will pertain to the legal realm. More specifically, they will pertain to estate planning and business law. You can count on us to continue doing what our job is.

For those of you that have been with us and following us for a period of time, we’d like to welcome you back. For those of you that are new to us, we welcome you and hope that we can provide you with useful information. If you need us to help with legal needs, of course, we are here to help. Please reach out to us if you need to create your estate plan or business, update your plans or if a new legal need arises.

// JSON Document